What to Expect:
“On day 22, I’m going to go crazy and eat everything I want!”
You may experience: A strong desire to plan an all-out carb-fest.
Your best bet: Focus on these last two days and finish up strong! Worry about day 22 when it comes, not today!
How to reintroduce foods after your 21DSD
Ultimately it’s up to you to choose what and how often you’ll add certain foods back into your regularly scheduled food programming, but before you bury yourself in a pile of grainfree baked goods or a bottle of wine, consider the following:
- How do you feel now that you’ve changed your food?
- How do you think you’ll feel if you eat a particular food that you estimate is less than healthy for you?
- If you think you’ll feel less than optimal, how long will that feeling last? More than a couple of hours? More than a day? More than a week?
- Will a particular food disrupt blood sugar regulation or digestive function? Mental clarity? The sense of accomplishment you have from not eating it for the past three weeks?
- Have the time and energy you’ve put into avoiding a particular food added more stress to your life than eliminating it alleviated symptoms of ill health?
When you consider these questions, you’ll become a lot more mindful of your food choices, rather than defaulting to certain foods simply out of habit or convenience.
Adding back sugars and starches
To safely and slowly add some naturally occurring sugars (like fruit) and starches back into your diet, take care to consider the portions and timing of these foods. Avoid eating fruits alone if you have had problems with blood sugar regulation and cravings. Eat small portions of berries or half a piece of fruit if you’re not a very active person, or larger portions if you are more active.
If you simply want to avoid cravings and you feel okay (perhaps even better?) when you resume eating some starchy foods, then you can enjoy root vegetables, tubers like sweet potatoes, and squash more frequently.
Reintroducing specific foods
- Fruit: Whole, fresh fruit can certainly have a regularly appearing role in your diet, but it’s important to find a balance and not overdo it.
- Grass-fed dairy (if you were on Level 3): Missing your yogurt? Try adding it back in and see how you do. I recommend buying only grass-fed forms of dairy to consume in your home, but you may find you can enjoy goat cheese in an omelet while dining out with no ill effects. Or not. See how it goes for you.
- Dark chocolate: I’m talking 80–85 percent cacao or more—it’s lower in sugar and a good source of antioxidants. Most folks don’t tend to overindulge in too much when it’s super dark. Look for an organic chocolate, preferably soy-free.
- Gluten-free grains or legumes: If you want to test how you do with these, white rice, quinoa, and black beans are all good choices to add in and track.
- A glass of wine: Now, I’m not saying you should drink daily after your detox, but it’s often a good idea to find out how you feel after consuming wine again if you previously drank. Perhaps you’ll find it doesn’t trigger cravings for you, or you don’t have any hangover effects. If that’s the case, having a glass once or twice a week again may work well for you.
We’ll walk you through some of the above reintroductions in your post-detox week ahead!
The Dish from Diane:
As you finish out this program, remember that post-21DSD, you don’t need to put pressure on yourself to eat this way for forever—that can feel overwhelming. Don’t freak yourself out or worry that you’ll fall off the rails. Rather than challenge yourself to “stick to it,” approach your upcoming weeks and days just as you’ve approached your weeks and days on the program. Plan and prep meals and snacks for the week so you don’t leave too much of your nutrition to chance, and include some healthy, whole foods that weren’t included before, like fruits. You already know that if you don’t have any healthy snacks in your purse or desk, the options you’ll find won’t be the best for you. And you knew this before the 21DSD.
Make your choices moment to moment, checking in with yourself as you go and not automatically saying yes to treats you don’t truly want simply because you’re not on the 21DSD anymore. Set yourself up for success by continuing to think ahead about your meals after the detox. You know you still need to eat every single day, so move ahead with that knowledge, and keep it as healthy as you can and want to!
- Post to social media using the hashtag #21DSD about your day 20 experience and share a non-food treat you’re going to enjoy on day 22.
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